For the Weekly Record Herald
DAYTON — Tipp City donors Carl and Rhonda Garber had just spent a brief but blissful summer weekend at a rented cabin on North Lake in Tennessee, but there was a mission to complete at home. They arrived bright and early Monday, July 27 at the downtown Dayton Community Blood Center (CBC) so Carl could slip in quietly, without fanfare, and make his milestone 100th lifetime blood donation.
As Carl made his 100th donation, Rhonda was in the adjacent donor bed making her 88th lifetime donation. “We always come here to donate together,” she said. Rhonda finished her donation and chose a light blue Coban bandage that matched the blue dress and white bonnet she wore in the plain clothes style that reflects their Old German Baptist Brethren faith. “She’s a little behind me in donations,” said Carl, “but she’s always faster than I am!”
“It’s just another donation, but it is kind of special,” said Carl. Though they knew Carl’s milestone was coming, their plan was to walk in early Monday morning without an appointment and without drawing attention. The “under the radar” approach wasn’t entirely successful! Carl was pleasantly surprised to receive the CBC “Donor for Life – 100 LTD” jacket celebrating his accomplishment.
“I first donated probably around the late ’60s or early ’70s,” he said about the journey to the milestone. “I started and I quit for a while. I got back into it about 10 years after that and I’ve been pretty regular ever since.”
Rhonda started donating with Carl. They’ve been married 48 years. Their three daughters and their families, which now include seven grandchildren, all live within a half hour of their Tipp City home. “It’s great,” said Carl, “we get to see them pretty often.”
Carl retired three years ago from a career in masonry work. He likes to stay busy, so he works part time driving a transit bus for Miami County. Always in the mix of work, travel and family is taking time for blood donations. “I’ve always thought it was good for people,’ he said, “And I like being able to help people when I can.”